It was another stimulating day at the Community Driven Institute. One lesson that stuck in my head – maybe because I was a communication major in college – is that our choice of language can keep us from achieving our vision. “Barriers,” “blocks,” “obstacles,” “threats,” “weaknesses,” “challenges” and “if only” are just of few of the terms that we commonly use, even intentionally invoke, when planning for our futures. The rationale is that by identifying such factors we will know how best to proceed. However, these terms are insidious in that they strip us of power. They plant the seed that our vision is unrealistic if not impossible to achieve.
In truth, what we typically identify as items standing in the way of our success are merely conditions that exist. Conditions we can expect to come across on our journey toward creating an amazing community. Conditions devoid of connotation – negative or positive. Conditions we are fully capable of successfully confronting head-on or avoiding altogether.
When we slip and start talking about impediments to our moving forward we need to stop ourselves and ask, “So, we would want to see what?” This will keep us from becoming mired in the mud and refocus us on the firm path before us.